California State Highway Routes
California state highways have an even longer history than the US highways. California started numbering routes as early as 1897 with the inception of Legislative Route 111. Gradually, more legislative routes were added, but the numbers existed only on paper. In 1928, the US highway system in California started to be signed by the two Automobile Clubs2 and these routes gradually superseded the named trails and highways. By 1934, the California Division of Highways realized the value of signed numbered routes and the system of signed routes was initiated3. In 1964, a major renumbering of state routes occurred to reconcile the legislative numbers with the sign numbers. Today there are almost 300 numbered routes in the state, with some being as short as one mile while others, like Route 1, cover most of the length of the state.
California Highway Bond 1909
Article from 1934 California Highways and Public Works detailing the start of signed state routes
Orange County Toll Roads
With its completion in 2004 between I-5 and I-15, Highway 56 comprises an important link in San Diego's freeway and expressway system. It is planned to ultimately go from I-5, just south of Del Mar to Highway 67, to the east of Poway.
Highway 252 was to be a freeway connecting I-5 and I-805 just south of downtown San Diego. It was never built due to opposition from the neighborhood through which it would have passed. In 1994 this routing was deleted from the state highway system. Its legacy is a huge interchange now signed "43rd St. Exit" on I-805 and a littered swath of land cutting through Barrio Logan that was converted into a park.
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Daniel Faigin, California State
2. Brian Smith, California Traffic Signs
3. California Division of Highways. "State Routes will be Numbered and Marked by Distinctive Bear Signs." California Highways and Public Works (1934).